Education for Change is looking for a dynamic and visionary Program Specialist who will engage staff, families, and other members of our learning community to ensure high student achievement, as well as support mental health and behavior in an effort to ensure children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. Under the supervision of the Director of Special Education, the Program Specialist serves as a Coach and Supervisor who assists special education staff and provides consultation, Individualized Education Program (IEP) coordination and support at the school site level; provides leadership to principals, teachers, and support personnel to ensure legally compliant and instructionally effective services for students with disabilities; and provides professional development support to EFCPS staff. The Program Specialist will engage community partners and families in serving the whole child and ensuring ALL children achieve at high levels prepared to succeed in any setting. They should know how to successfully work in an urban elementary and middle school setting with a high English Learner and low-income population, including students who have experienced trauma.
About Education for Change Public Schools
Founded in 2005, Education for Change (EFC) is a charter management organization that was created as a partnership between Oakland Unified School District and the education reform community in order to leverage the flexibilities in charter law to facilitate greater innovation and to address the underperformance of our most vulnerable student populations. EFC is Oakland’s largest charter operator, serving over 3,000 students in the Fruitvale and Elmhurst neighborhoods of East Oakland. Five of seven of our schools were formerly OUSD schools that converted to EFC to leverage the flexibility and agility provided by charter law for greater outcomes for our students.
EFCPS is committed to serving ALL students, regardless of need. Our approach addresses the diverse needs of our students by offering a myriad of program designs to meet individual need. We offer inclusion, resource instruction, combined programs that include both inclusive and small group instruction, and specialized programs for students with autism, those in need of emotional supports, and students with more moderate needs. Utilizing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), our multidisciplinary team works collaboratively to analyze and problem solves around student and staff needs. We employ a whole child approach that not only meets the basic needs of our students, but also takes into consideration their socio-emotional, academic and behavioral needs.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Education specialists: Observe, mentor and assist education specialists in IEP development and implementation of innovative instructional methods and approaches. Provide opportunities and feedback to increase case management skills including IEP development and compliance, student progress evaluation and collaboration with service providers and general education teachers.
- School psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists and other related service providers: Observe, mentor and assist staff. Provide weekly supervision to staff.
- Paraeducators: Participate in hiring and training paraeducators. Support education specialists’ supervision and development of their paraeducators.
- Professional Development: Support and facilitate team building, professional learning, collaboration and consultation as a member and leader of the student support services professional learning community. As a member of the student support services management team plan, develop and lead workshops to ensure staff are well-trained and competent at providing specialized services.
- Student Support Services Programming: Plans programs, provides curricular resources and technical assistance for, and assesses the effectiveness of the program for students with exceptional needs. Assumes responsibility for appropriate identification, educational programming, and services for special education students. Provides leadership in the area of curriculum, instruction and modification/accommodation for students with diverse learning needs. Ensures the use of best practices in the implementation of pre-referral behavioral interventions, positive behavioral interventions as outlined in the IEP, and implementation of behavioral support and intervention plans by collaborating with school psychologists, other specialists or site staff.
- IEP Development: Assist IEP teams in planning and implementing IEPs. Serve as a resource and liaison to IEP teams regarding placement and programming considerations. Participate as a member of IEP teams as appropriate. Provide case management for nonpublic school (NPS) students.
- Consultation: Provide technical expertise and consultation services to school instructional staff and administrators regarding student learning and adjustment problems, and organizational systems for meeting individual student needs. Recommend appropriate remediation, educational placement or referral.
- MTSS: Participate in the development of school-based Multi-Tiered System of Supports.
- Parent Relationships: Facilitate the development of positive relationships with students, parents, and school personnel. Advocate for students with special needs and their families. Address concerns from students, parents, and staff.
- Quality Control: As a member of the Special Education management team, develop systems, policies, and procedures for high quality instructional programs and effective support services in Special Education. Monitor student achievement and progress towards IEP goals. Consult with school leaders in evaluating special education instructional program effectiveness.
- Compliance: Ensure compliance with state and federal regulations, state and SELPA reporting requirements, and EFCPS policies and procedures. Maintain knowledge of current laws and regulations pertaining to individuals with exceptional needs.
- Coordination: Coordinate with EFCPS Home Office Staff, school sites, and partner organizations to ensure the smooth running and operation of the student support services department. Coordinate with HR and appropriate staff for recruiting, screening, scheduling activities related to new special education hires and contracted DIS service providers. Assist staff and families with resources to access community agencies (i.e. SELPA, County Mental Health, Community Colleges, Regional Occupational Center).
- Evaluation: Evaluate student support services staff.
Student Diversity in Development and Learning
- Diversity: Recognize issues of diversity that affect routine interactions with other people and organizations.
- Flexibility: Modify or adapt routine practice to effectively meet these diverse needs.
- Cultural sensitivity: Demonstrate sensitivity and skills needed to work with families, students, and staff from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
- Time Management: Adhere to IDEA timelines and to schedules, policies and procedures as determined by EFCPS.
- Team Member: Maintain relationships with school leaders, assistant principals, special education team members and Home Office staff. Attend and participate in a variety of meetings, conferences, workshops, and seminars, including, but not limited to, IEP and SELPA meetings.
- Professional Growth: Practice professional renewal through a variety of means such as attending conferences, workshops, and seminars and through participation in professional growth opportunities provided by EFCPS.
- Excellent project and time management skills: highly organized, able to meet strict deadlines and support others to do so, able to manage multiple projects at once
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, with a wide range of constituents
- In-depth knowledge of current Special Education and Federal laws
- Expert knowledge of the assessment process, writing and developing IEPs, Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs), running IEP meetings, and Progress Monitoring
- Experience providing professional development and coaching
- Unfaltering belief that all students have potential for academic success regardless of disability
- Valid Clear California Education Specialist Credential or Pupil Personnel Service Credential in School Psychology, Possession of Administrative Services Credential
- BCLAD or CLAD certification, highly desirable
- Minimum of six years of successful special education experience
- Experience in personnel management, including instructional coaching and leading team meetings
- Knowledge of special education laws and regulations; general education curriculum; alternative dispute methods and techniques; disabilities and appropriate curriculum; behavior management systems
- Experience accelerating student learning and achievement in low-income communities
- Experience and desire to use data and technology as levers to drive instruction
- Must possess a growth mindset and be able to use feedback to refine practice
- Successful experience working in a collaborative environment
- Experience working with diverse communities
- Bilingual-Spanish preferred
- Travel between Oakland school sites is required
EFC Core Values
- Connected- We continually work to build trusting relationships among students, families, staff, and the Oakland community at large. We are an all-hands-on-deck network driven by empathy. We value our collective identity and the individual identities of our community members and scholars such that we have a sense of collective ownership and responsibility for each other and for our scholars.
- Inclusive- We proactively disrupt predictable patterns of opportunity, power, privilege, and performance. We create an inclusive environment where multiple perspectives are not only valued but sought, where people from all backgrounds feel seen and heard and can thrive, and where we all feel a deep sense of accountability to our mission.
- Interdependent- Our success at every level is dependent on our individual and collective sustainability. To that end, we are transparent, creative, and collaborative problem-solvers who seek to build trusting relationships. We are curious and are open to new ideas while also putting systems in place to ensure continuity so that our employees can stay, grow, thrive, and help make good on our promise to our students and families.
- Learners- We support each other to develop and grow so that we can leverage our collective power, intelligence, and passion on behalf of our students. We lean on home-grown leaders who are rooted in our community. Individuals feel known and are provided opportunities to maximize their potential in alignment with their passions and goals.